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Cap & Trade HR 2454 Passes House 219 – 212 BUT DON'T GIVE UP THE FIGHT

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Yes…they really DID pass HR 2454 in the House of Representatives yesterday.

And if you were watching the mess on C-Span as it was happening, it didn’t help that feeling that your head was, literally, going to explode.

Congress is really totally out of control. It’s not like I’ve never watched coverage of the House before, so it’s not a new phenomenon that I feel a migraine coming on whenever I feel the need for self-punishment. It’s just that many things that have always bothered me REALLY bothered me yesterday.

I have a couple of questions I’d like some answers to, I’ve had them for a while:

  • Why are all of those seats empty when members are speaking? Shouldn’t they have to listen to one another?
  • Why isn’t Nancy Pelosi running the gavel?

But more importantly, from yesterday’s vote, I want to know:

  • HOW can anyone vote on a bill that doesn’t exist anywhere on planet earth in final, printed form?
  • How can anyone debate a bill they haven’t read?

I watched people lie right into the camera, right over a microphone, and right into the Congressional record.

Here are some of the better zingers:

Nancy Pelosi, “The most important thing to remember about this bill is four words; jobs, jobs, jobs, and jobs.”

“This bill will make us energy independent.”

“This will only cost people cents a day.”

When Rep. Joe Barton asked “Madame Chairman” (who the hell is THAT?) where the bill actually was, she kept saying there was “an official copy” at the desk. The official copy was actually 800+ pages and 300 more that had been added at 3:30AM EST. The clerk was still sorting through the 800 pages and putting the 300 in their proper places at 4:00pm EST, just two hours before the vote took place.

Rep. Markey, one of the two sponsors of the bill sarcastically answered Joe Barton’s repeated questions about the bills whereabouts. He informed Mr. Barton that the bill was available online.

We really are in big trouble, folks.

Very telling was the order of business immediately following the final vote; a Congresswoman stood up and entered a tribute to Michael Jackson into the Congressional Record.

The bill passed by a vote of 219 to 212. There were eight Republicans who voted “AYE” and two who were not present. A roll call of all the votes is available HERE.

To be sure, those eight Republicans did make the difference. But every last one of the members who vote “Aye” should be targets for removal from office.

Of course it’s discouraging that the bill passed. But this fight isn’t over. It must go before the Senate for a vote, to conference committee, and then back to the House.

We must put tremendous pressure on our Senators, and still on members of the House. My representative, Jeff Fortenberry, for instance, did vote “no”, and that is a good thing. But I’ve read his position on the bill, and no is just not good enough.

All of our representatives need to be taking a loud, firm stand, not only on the way the bill was put together, but on its content. Mr. Fortenberry seems to be straddling the middle, trying to please everyone. He seems to be buying into the whole global warming / climate change nonsense.

ENOUGH!

I think in order to be a member of Congress, you have to have a spine. If you don’t exhibit one, it’s time to go home.

And that brings me to Minority Leader Boehner. I’m told, by Congressional Rules, he is the only Republican at present who is allowed unlimited speaking time in a circumstance such as yesterday’s debate. He COULD have read the entire bill. He COULD have read all 300 of those pages that were added at the last minute. It would have rather been like a filibuster. But he read selections, and that was it.

WHY?

While he was reading, I had some hope he would continue, at least really send a message, make everyone sit for hours. Perhaps even that would have broken through the twisted “King of Pop, dead!” coverage on the news.

Perhaps.

In any case, instead of giving up, we need to take our anger and turn it into action. We need to stay on these guys and we need to be surveying the landscape for replacement candiates in 2010.

The House needs to be swept clean.

We also need to turn this anger into action when it comes to the Senate. They need an avalanche of mail when they come back from their recess, never ending phone calls, and fax machine that needs the paper replaced.

We need to show up at Tea Parties on the 4th in larger numbers than before.

And most of all, we don’t need to get mad, we need to get even. That means showing all of these rats the door.

All of the calls, emails, faxes, etc., did make some difference. The vote was closer than expected.

You can find links to all of your reps in Congress in the post below.  Let them all know what you think about what happened in the House yesterday.

Lincoln Tea Party / Sen. Nelson's Voting Record Top Story on Ch. 8 News

Even before I had readied a press release announcing the April 11 Lincoln “Tax Freedom Tea Party” event, I was contacted by two members of the KLKN Ch. 8 news staff.

Clearly, Ch. 8, our local ABC affiliate, is anxious to cover a Tea Party.

One of the contacts was a reporter requesting to do a profile. Before that could be set up, I was contacted by the station’s assignment editor requesting an interview regarding statements made by Nebraska’s senior Senator, Ben Nelson.

Reille Creighton, a reporter I actually respect (gasp!) was assigned the story.  She covered the March 15th rally in front of Senator Nelson’s office. She promised the organizers John Grieser and Angela Slack she would be fair and get their message out and she did.

As Reille explained what was to be covered, it became clear to me that I was going to be the “opposition” opinion on the piece. As I readied myself, it occured to me that we are truly living in the Twilight Zone.

After all, there is a State GOP headquarters much more conveniently located to the TV station than my house. (Just ask the reporter, she got lost.)

Even dismissing the Tea Party “hoopla”, just how relevant is the Republican party these days? A homeschooling mother of three, blogger, and passionate concerned citizen vs. the State GOP? …Okay

Like I said, I knew what the angle was. Senator Nelson vs. Tea Party Organizer. Ok, fine. It gets the word out about the Tea Party.

As one of “those” people, I get to wait for the Nelson attack machine which has apparently effectively struck fear in the hearts of the Nebraska GOP. On February 25, I called their Communications Director when I was looking for guests for the special three hour live show that had been arranged for the Feb. 27th Nationwide Chicago Tea Party on BTR’s Grizzly Groundswell.

As I was handling those arrangements,  I thought, why not help out, as Grizzly’s Chad Everson would say, “in my own backyard”? After all, Sen. Nelson was at ground zero in ensuring the passage of the Stimulus  Bill. Hopefully there was an emerging candidate who would oppose the esteemed Senator on the next round.

I had already been “treated” to the whiz bang NE GOP strategy for dealing with Sen. Nelson: wait until the vote occurs on a very damaging piece of legislation, then issue a press release that…no one pays any attention to. The day before the vote was scheduled, the new Director informed, “Rest assured, we are going to be issuing a press release.”

Oh, yes, I really will sleep well at night knowing the NE GOP is on the job! Despite this glimpse of brilliance, I was hoping for better. On  Feb. 25, any illusions were quickly put to rest. The Communications Director had not heard of Rick Santelli, vaguely knew something about “Tea Parties”, but didn’t know of any candidates lining up to oppose Ben Nelson.

She stated that even if there were any emerging candidates, it would be unlikely they would “come out” this early. Nelson’s team would just get wind of it.

I wish I had taken notes for an exact quote, but that’s the gist. When I asked if anyone would like to be a guest on the Tea Party show, she said, perhaps the State Chairman (and this I do remember exactly) may “want to come and out and make a statement” but he was a busy attorney with ” a very busy schedule”. She kindly gave me his email address.

I determined that I couldn’t be the distruber of anyone’s “busy schedule”.

I think the report went fairly well. Of course, it’s always frustrating which particular clips are ultimately used. As my husband pointed out, finishing up with my response regarding Sen. Nelson’s statement that he wouldn’t currently vote for the budget as it exists would have been a better way to end the story.

I had stated that it would be difficult to believe. After all, Sen. Nelson said he was opposed to the Stimulus Bill initially. Despite the fact that nothing substantively changed about it, he voted for it anyway. He did so with calls 9 to 1 against it from his constituents.

Regardless, I hope that it helps get the word out to my fellow Nebraskans; they are not alone in their opposition to the Senator’s votes, and they hopefully got the message that I’ve received lots of emails and phone calls stating precisely that, whatever Sen. Nelson wants to make people believe.